A GUNMAN opened fire in a busy hairdressing salon in a quiet seaside community, killing eight people and critically wounding another.
The gunman, said to be the ex-husband of one of the stylists, got into a truck and drove away from Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, Southern California, about 30 miles from Los Angeles, after the rampage.
Bodies were seen scattered throughout the salon in the aftermath of the shooting.
A man was stopped by officers about a half a mile away and surrendered without incident, while saying he had multiple weapons with him, police sergeant Steve Bowles said.
Two former salon employees said the couple had gone through a bitter divorce.
Sgt Bowles would only say, "There may be something to the motive as to a relationship with somebody in the salon, that is our assumption."
Kimberly Criswell, who owns a salon two doors down from the scene, said she, customers and employees heard gunshots, and her receptionist saw a man through a window as he was shot in a parking space. "There was like a pop, pop and my receptionist screamed, 'He just shot that man' and we all ran into the bathroom and locked the door'," Ms Criswell said.
Witness Glenn Zachman said he saw police had placed plastic bags over the man's hands to preserve possible gunshot residue.
The man, in handcuffs, was placed in a patrol car and taken away about two and a half hours after the shooting. A new white pick-up truck that was believed to be his was parked on the modest residential street with its doors open.
The suspect was co-operative when officers, working from a description of the shooter, stopped him near the salon, Sgt Bowles said.
Shortly after the man was arrested, police arrived at a house in Melody Lane in nearby Huntington Beach and escorted two women to a white car and then roped off the house with crime scene tape.
Neighbours identified photos of the alleged shooter as their neighbour Scott. The hosue is registerd to Scott Dekraai and one of the licensed cosmetologists at the salon address was Michelle Dekraai.
Police responding to a report of shots fired found six people dead and three wounded at the salon. Two of the wounded later died in hospital. The other person is in a critical condition.
"We're unsure at this point if he shot from the entrance and people, as they were shot, ran in seeking cover or seeking shelter, but we have fatalities throughout the salon," Sgt Bowles said at a news conference.